Past Perfect



My one confession: it has happened more than once

that, when considering the present, I denied

the point of living in this tense when I have had

so few examples to convince you that I tried.


And if there is no bottom line, where do I start?

It’s not the syntax that’s disturbing me, but this:

there is no order in the way we chose to fail,

there is no logic in the parts of you I miss.


So take two wholes and half a chance to get it right,

or take this rubbish out for good and lock your doors,

or take this whole damn thing apart ’til it makes sense,

or take the hand of someone else to hold in yours.


That you have lost me is no matter big or small;

that I can live without you hurts me like a bruise.

My one concession to the language of your world:

my perfect past, the only tense I ever use.


And if there is no bottom line, where does it end?

Do feelings stop, like people stop and change their minds?

My punctuation is all wrong and I forget

an open-ended sentence, every time –




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